4 Painful Side Effects of Being Conscious & How to Deal With It

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Being conscious is where it’s at.

After all – who wants to be unconscious?! Not me!

But, here’s the deal… when we first start waking up and becoming conscious it can be a SUPER PAINFUL process.

And even when you feel like you’ve been conscious for quite some time and have settled into a new way of being and living based on that conscious awareness, it can STILL be painful.

I’ve heard the same phrase so many times from people all over the world, including out of my own mouth…

“Sometimes I wish I could just go back. Ignorance is bliss.”

But, trust me, ignorance is not bliss.

And life is not better when lived unconsciously.

Plus – there’s a very big, beautiful, bright side to this process of becoming conscious. It makes any pain MORE THAN WORTH IT.

My take on the whole process of waking up and living consciously is this…

  • Unconscious living is painful, with very little upside.
  • Conscious living might be painful SOMETIMES, but it has ALL the upside that this amazing world has to offer!

So, if you’re experiencing some challenges as a result of being conscious, you’re in the right place. I’m gonna give you a few tips from my own first-hand experience.

Believe me… I feel ya! I’ve been there.

Waking up and becoming more conscious can feel like being pushed through the eye of a needle.

I’d say 60% of my waking-up experience was like a glorious miracle dawned upon me and enveloped me in a warmth, love and profound sense of FINALLY figuring out what life was about.

And the other 40%?

Well, it was painful.

Below is what I experienced in that phase of becoming conscious, plus tips for how to deal with it.

Perhaps you’ve experienced the same things, or are going through this now?

1. Loss of Identity


And this is no understatement.

Being conscious meant I could no longer deny the fact that some things, places and roles I was playing just didn’t make sense to me anymore.

They didn’t feel like who I was, and I couldn’t take it any more.

But in this realization from dawning consciousness, came another more important question. “If I’m not this, then who/what am I?”

I could no longer identify myself by the job I did. I couldn’t identify myself with the roles I was playing in life, or by the things I owned.

And I felt ADRIFT, without an anchor. I’ll be honest… there was a certain sense of possibility and excitement with this, but there was also TERROR!

Like… I better hurry the heck up and figure this out because otherwise I’m just a drifting loon.

I need something to “hang my hat on”. I need answers. I need to know who I am and where I belong. People keep asking me and I don’t even know myself yet, so how can I answer them! YIKES!!

I felt like running away and hiding.

Knowing what I was not, wasn’t enough. I needed to know who I was and where I was proverbially going on this spiritual/consciousness journey.

I ditched one sense of identity (the old unconscious, ego driven life) only to try frantically to find myself another one. LOL!

MY TIP FOR YOU – Eventually I realized there is no “new identity” to find. Once you stop trying to be anything or be anyone, or find anything, and you just discover your own self, you come home.

This loss of identity we go through when becoming and being conscious, is just “par for the course” and part of the journey.

There’s no way around it, over it or under it. You gotta go right through it.

And as you do, you will discover the truest sense of who you are.

It’s not a new “identity” per se. It’s just the truth. It’s just who you have always been, but might not have realized.

It’s you meeting your own soul.

2. Loneliness

It was a lonely time for me as I transitioned to being conscious.

I had people all around me, and yet there might as well have been no one.

Well, actually not quite… I was lucky that I had a couple of people close to me who were taking a similar journey and so they could understand my existential angst and my transition phase.

That made a huge difference.

I came to realize during this time of change, as I let go of my old identity and began the journey to discover my true self, that there is no way around it… it can be lonely! Facts are facts.

And, partly, you just have to deal with it.

No one else can be in your shoes with you feeling your feelings, having your thoughts, going through those personal reflections.

No one else can walk the path for you.

And no one else can tell you what is going to happen exactly, or when.

And that creates a sense of isolation.

What I came to appreciate about this process of becoming conscious, and being conscious in daily life, is that it’s OKAY and normal to feel a bit “on your own”.

I wonder if that’s part of the awakening journey… that we’re meant to feel this isolation?

Why? Well maybe it forces us to go inside ourselves for what we need, and to connect to the Universe/Source for what we need (with trust and faith).

This very process of feeling lonely while surrounded by the busy-ness of life as it’s always been, but not feeling a part of it in the same way anymore, is maybe what we have to go through in order to LEARN.

We have to learn how to be in this world in a different way – no longer asleep and attached to illusions, but awake and able to find peace from a higher state of awareness.

MY TIP FOR YOU – You eventually find where you fit in the jigsaw puzzle. And you DO fit. It just won’t be in the exact same way as before, you have to adjust your own perspectives in order to find your new groove and flow as a conscious human being. You come to a place where you will feel connected to everyone and everthing, no matter where you are. You come to a place where you can be totally alone, and yet never feel alone. That is the beauty of awakening, of spiritual truth, of knowing who you TRULY are, and knowing your inherent connection to a higher power (whatever you personally relate to that as… Source, God, the Universe, Divinity).

3. Regret & Beating Yourself Up

When you first wake up, often things can feel all roses and glory. A beautiful experience of the oneness of everything, and your place in this world/Universe.

You begin to see how powerful you really are, and what you can create and do going forward in your life.

And then suddenly something dawns on you…


You think of all the times you did things unconsciously, and made mistakes, and behaved in ways there were egoic and negative, how you did or said things that harmed yourself, or others, and how you might have avoided your own potential and opportunities, sabotaging yourself and keeping your life stuck.

Regret kicks in.

You cringe.

And the mind starts harping on about how you should have known better:

  • “If only I had known then what I know now…”
  • “I shouldn’t have done that…”
  • “I wish…”

MY TIP FOR YOU – Our waking up happens RIGHT ON TIME. For some reason, we each wake at a pivotal point in our life journey, and we might not know why it happens when it happens.

Some culmination of experiences and learning takes place BEFORE becoming conscious. Then that wisdom from the past and the new consciousness feeds the remainder of our life journey for our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical evolution.

So we’re required to make peace with the journey we had up until the point we woke up.

I went through my own “Regret/Cringe Phase” and I cleaned up a few things in my past that didn’t sit well with me from my newly aware state. And then I put it behind me and decided to only look forward.

It’s a choice we make. Own your past. Take the learning. Lay it to rest. Look forward.

4. Seeing Negativity Everywhere

As much as you start seeing beauty and miracles everywhere when you become conscious, which is a delightful blessing, you also become acutely aware of EVERYTHING.

Very few things escape your attention.

As a result, while you do see more of the previously unnoticed miracles of life, you also now see EVEN MORE negativity than ever before.

It seems like the challenges in the world and negative people rise to the occasion to make themselves more known.

Of course, all things are always there. Equally the positive and the negative.

But when you’re becoming more conscious you have to remember this and not get lost in frustration about all the negativity in the world. Particularly when it feels like that negativity is slapping your beautiful conscious face each day!

More suffering on TV, more negative people behaving badly, more unconsciousness in those you love… you want to scream out to the world to wake up with you!

But alas, that’s not how it works.

The challenge is to be awake in your life without expecting others to be too.

And to find peace and acceptance with the negativity in the world, alongside the reality of beauty and miracles you have stepped into.

And to know that both can co-exist, once you let go of making the negative “wrong”.

MY TIP FOR YOU – You will get what you look for. So if you get sad or frustrated with the amount of negativity and unconsciousness you see around you, it’s easy to start looking for it everywhere and therefore seeing more of it.

Instead, look only for the consciousness. Look only for the awakening. Looking only for the beauty and the miracles. If you look for it, you will see it.

You will of course see the darkness too, but you look upon it with your light, and you tell yourself,

“This is not all there is. There is consciousness everywhere and I choose to see that.”

I’d love to hear from you. Scroll down to leave me a comment below.

Let me know if you resonate with any of these experiences, or perhaps other challenges you’ve encountered and how you dealt with them.

Sharing is part of what makes this community so awesome – your experiences and insights might be just what other people need to hear to help them on their journey!

Love, Bernadette

When you

Bernadette Logue (known to everyone as “B”) is the Leader of The Daily Positive, a Transformation Life Coach and the author of 3 personal growth books – guiding you on how to master your mind, to live consciously and soul-aligned. Click here for B’s private coaching and books.

10 thoughts on “4 Painful Side Effects of Being Conscious & How to Deal With It

  1. Kate says:

    Awesome article – I actually lived side
    Effects without realizing it… for me the hardest part is having people I love so much not being awaken…
    Also I’m a new mom, I’ll need to figure out how to explain and put into words – beautiful thing is: I trust that it will come naturally;)

  2. Mari says:

    What a wonderful article -thank you! It especially warms my heart to know I’m not alone! I can relate to each one of the challenges and I’m currently loving me and trusting my truth! I’m also making changes in my life that align with my calling and authentic self. As for the negativity, I have been working on pivoting into positivity. I use positive quotes, stories, music, or find the opportunity to spark positivity by doing an act of kindness.

    • Bernadette Logue says:

      You’re welcome Mari, and I loved reading your message. 2 things stood out to me and I’m nodding my head with a big smile on my face. (1) “Currently loving me and trusting my truth”… AWESOME! And (2) pivoting into positivity! Inspiring. Thanks for sharing and sending best wishes for your journey. Bernadette 🙂

  3. Andreae says:

    Wow all four resonate so closely and I personally have yo yoed over a number of years feeling as if I was odd or out of sorts in some way and would then bolster myself up with positives in any form but with no finding and belonging to a tribe of like mindeds other than online missed the experience of sharing in a physical community. There comes a time where one literally self sabotages knowingly creating pain so as to force movement outside of ones comfort zone due to there being no growth or seeing ones potential seemingly fading away as time continues to pass. It is not the doing that is difficult but the deciding, especially when so much literature is solely focused on following your passion/purpose when one has no idea what that is. Or dreams where through hardship one has forgotten whilst only being in survival mode and although grateful for life itself having come through to the other side that emotion of joy is not present or felt. Faith and trust sit at my feet but still no movement is happening. It is like a spiritual overload/overwhelm which creates an exhaustion that makes one wish to step out of the frey away from all responsibility, deadlines, the constant of push and soft sell and one size fits all solutions. So much clarity feels like a burden. So adrift, chosen isolation as seeing so much negativity one wishes to isolate just to protect oneself. Where to from here I wish I knew. Thank god for my animals 😁

    • Bernadette Logue says:

      Hi Andreae, I hear you. And yes I know exactly what you mean about “thank god for animals”. They just love unconditionally, are totally present, and we can just BE with them in that moment, and feel peace. I’ve felt similar ways to what you described in past times, particularly being in overload/overwhelm on the journey of discovery, and not having answers. Thankfully that all fell away over time, with a focus on acceptance, presence and allowing. I send warmest wishes to you, Bernadette

  4. Sarah says:

    I so resonated with all of this B and only just recently was thinking that I was going wrong on the journey. Having read this and couldn’t believe that it’s really where I’m at on all that you said, I now feel very relieved and that this is a normal process. The tips were fab. Loved the tip about not trying to find and struggle with s new identity. Great to read and know there are like minded people out there and I’m not going mad!!

    • Bernadette Logue says:

      You’re definitely not alone, and not going mad! 🙂 It happens for so many of us, I know where you’re at. Go with the path, where you’re at is not the destination, it’s just a transition and the necessary growing pains of that evolutionary process you’re experiencing. Love! B

  5. Jackie says:

    Love this B, it made so much sense. I keep waiting for me to reach an A- Ha moment where everything tfits into place or if i do this thing I will get closer to what i want to be. Its good advice to stop pushing and just let it unfold. Also to be aware thats its not going to be rosy all the time. Thank you for your wisdom xx

    • Bernadette Logue says:

      Hey Jackie! Yes, definitely go with the flow of it (forcing only tends to bring more challenges). And from my experience, it’s definitely not rosy all the time but the process of waking up and living consciously is SO gratifying even if challenging. Big love to you!! Bx

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